Martindale Library growing by leaps and bounds
By Kaci Taylor
Imagine you’re a young student in Martindale. You’re sitting at home, working on some papers your teacher gave you. It occurs to you that you need better references in order to finish. Where could you get them? Your family doesn’t have internet access where you live. You could go to a library maybe? Sa
n Marcos and Lockhart both have great libraries… but they’re several miles away. What do you do? Cue the Martindale Community Library.
Do you know how or why Martindale has a library? How did it get here? Where did all those books come from? Who started it?
The Martindale Community Library originally began in the Martindale United Methodist Church. Members of the church and local enthusiasts supported the small lending library and opened it to the community for four hours a week, staffed by volunteers. From 2009 on, the library thrived at the church and continued to receive more and more monetary donations and books. By January 2015 the library reached maximum capacity and began to look for a new venue. The City Council voted to support the library, and the library soon found a home on Main Street in downtown Martindale. The City Administrator, a huge supporter of public libraries, helped the library plant firm roots in the city, as well as helping to put the library in the budget the City Council approved.
As the library began to settle into the new space, Lockhart’s Dr. Eugene Clark Library donated shelving and Bobcat Build volunteers helped install them. Carol Deviney, an “Employed Volunteer,” was officially hired by the City as Martindale Community Library Interim Library Director. Soon after the Library Policy was approved by the City Council, the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held. July 4 marked the library’s grand opening downtown. The library has participated in several city functions, including the annual Fourth of July Parade and the Tree Lighting at Christmas!
How many members of the community have stepped up to volunteer at the library? Martindale has roughly 1,160 residents. Over thirty people are currently volunteering their time and talents at the library! The library has gained at least 20 new volunteers since its official opening downtown. Membership is free to area residents. They have issued 154 library cards in the last eight months; have you gotten yours yet?
The library not only offers story time for young community members, and programs for local adults, it also provides free WiFi! Many residents of Martindale and the surrounding communities have no internet access. Homeschoolers and local students, as well as all community members, are provided full internet access and computer help at the library. Before the Martindale Community Library opened, the closest libraries for the community were the San Marcos Library and Lockhart Library. That’s quite a few miles!
Perhaps the biggest question concerning the library: How many books and movies are available? The library currently houses over 6,400 books/movies. Another 1,300 are in storage, which puts the total amount at over 7,700! Chances are, you’ll probably find at least a few that look appealing.
The Martindale Community Library is open every week, Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m. Pre-K story time is on Thursday mornings at 10 a.m., helping promote literacy through reading, song, and fun activities! You can find this tech-savvy library on Facebook (Martindale Community Library) for current library news, or see if a certain book is available at https://martindale.biblionix.com/catalog/. As mentioned, the library has free WiFi (free!). The library invites you to bring your own laptop or tablet, or use one of the computers provided! If you have any questions, call (512) 357-2639, extension 115. Go check out your local library!